Sewing · Sewing Studio

Happy Birthday to my Mom…I bought myself a present…

Today my mom would have turned 71…..but to us she’ll forever be 67…..

until we meet again…

Picture of my mom at her 65th birthday party in 2015

I would love to tell a moving story of how I bought a new sewing machine in her honor, but that just wouldn’t be true. You see, yesterday, yet another one of my sewing machines broke. This happens more often than I’d like to admit.

I have accumulated quite the assortment of sewing machine carcasses in my studio.

You see, when my mom passed away in 2017, I was given the majority of her sewing machines. She had quite a few.

Here’s the thing with machines: they wear out, and they break.

Here’s the thing with cheap machines: they can be AMAZING, until a small part breaks or needs repairs….then they they cost more to fix then they do to replace. My highly probable guess is that’s what my mom did when one of her machines broke down….she replaced it instead of getting it repaired. I’m sure she thought she’d fix them all one day….but, alas, I inherited the whole lot.

I did get a couple of them repaired….in fact the one that just pooped out on me yesterday was one I had fixed about a year ago. And now, I’m just over it.

I use my machines a lot. Not everyday…but I’d say 5 out of 7. I used to be shy about telling people what kind of sewing machine I had because I thought it wasn’t “good enough” You might be surprised when I share my longest lastly machine….

You know the one you can but at every big box store?

Yep, that’s the one!

This was the machine I used for many years, loved, and recommended it to every beginner sewist that asked.

Well, it worked great until it didn’t.

I have been fixing the sewing machines I’ve had for years, and I think I’ve finally had enough.

When the last of my working sewing machines broke yesterday, I did something very uncharacteristic of me. I went online, looked at a few reviews and purchased a new machine in a matter of minutes….and one day delivery means it arrives TODAY.

It was a decision made in a moment of anger and frustration, and I really surprised myself with the swiftness of all of it. Emotions, man. They are a crazy roller coaster.

Think I have some unresolved grief and baggage that I have attached to a few sewing machines I have hanging out in my basement? …….no? Oh good, me either.

Welp, I hope this purchase works out well for me in the long run.

I’m calling it my new “back up” machine, and I think I am finally ready to shop around and choose a new machine that is much more reliable and worth being repaired. “They don’t make ’em like they used to” is what everyone EVERYWHERE tells me. So, if I want a sturdy machine, I know I’m going to have to pay for it.

Here’s what’s on my WishList:

What are you sewing on these days? Any recommendations for me?

Crafts & DIY · Sewing Studio

It’s Fabric….it’s Wallpaper….it’s Art.

During the week one challenge, when I cleaned and organized my sewing space studio….it amazed me at how much my cutting table was lacking.

About five years ago or so my husband and I constructed this beast…

I had a vision of the height I wanted for a cutting table so that it would be comfortable as I stood…(I know there are lots of options out there. IKEA and all that. trust me I’ve seen all the Pinterest photos, blogs and suggestions from others sewists.

Here’s the thing.

I’m cheap.

Most of all of the furniture in my sewing studio is either clearance items, thrifted pieces or hand me downs.

So we went to the ReStore and found a an old bathroom vanity… And this creation came to life. My husband took it apart and added a little bit of height, shelves, a particleboard top, and casters so that it rolls. This thing is HEAVY!

Like I said, this was five or six years ago now, and since my sewing studio has been a complete and utter mess I’ve been able to ignore the fact that it’s ugly as sin. Well, no longer.

When I swivel my sewing chair around I saw this blank ugly piece of….of….Furniture. 🙂

So the past couple weeks I went to work on making it something I’d like to look at.

and what makes me happier than colorful beautiful fabric?

Not much

I sectioned it off and went to work Mod-Podging in pieces of my favorite stash to make it an art piece.

I still have room and things to add to the collage… But it is complete at least for now

Sewing Studio

Week 1 Sewing Challenge: Organizing My Space

Hello NEW YEAR!

In 2020 I challenged myself to the Daily Temperature Quilt….and I am so proud that I did it. I hand stitched 2 hexies for every day of the year and made it into a quilt.

(I promise…..I will post the update for December 2020 very soon)

BUT It’s 2021 NOW!

I was talking to a good friend about goals and resoultions…..and I was explaining to her that I don’t make them. I feel like I’ve “failed” one to many times.

HOWEVER, I DO sign up for challenges (or start challenges for myself) in my sewing business.

So, here we are.

I joined a 52 week Sewing Challenge for 2021.

After last year’s challenge, I figured this one would be pretty easy!

WEEK 1: ORGANIZING YOUR SPACE

One of our daughters LOVES the rainbow. She sorts everything into Rainbow order…..and I get it. It sure makes everything more cheerful!

I don’t think I’ve seen this much of my sewing desk since 2014…

I also began organizing my PDF printed pattern pieces. I have to say “began” since I have two piles to sort yet….but this is a great start. They are all folded into Manilla folders, labeled on the outside with the pattern name, and stored in my Upcycled Bathroom vanity that I’ve been using the last 6 years…..again, it hasn’t been this clean…..since 2014

This picture also shows my “Ready for Upcycling” cabinet on the left. The top doors close off the adult shirts & fabric panels, the bottom bins are children’s sizes, sorted by size.

ahhhhh….THE FABRIC.

Knit in rolls on the left…..Woven wrapped around comic cardboards on the right

The other side of the cutting table….and more pattern storage

(note all the scissors….I believe I found 12 pair when cleaning this space)

It’s just so pretty all cleaned up and spiffy!

and one more step back…..

So, I would say:

WEEK 1: Organize your Space….CHALLENGE ACCEPTED…..

CHALLENGE CRUSHED!

I still have a long ways to go.

I haven’t shown the full studio, because I have scrap fabric coming OUT OF MY EARS! I save everything! It’s a blessing and a curse….so hopefully I will get a lot of that used up in the month of January. 🙂 But, apart from that, this is a HUGE LEAP in the right direction for me. I’m not a “clean” and “organized” person by nature….so I will TOOT all the HORNS and be proud of myself this week.

HAPPY 2021, my friends!

Sewing Studio

Studio Spotlight: Organizing PDF Patterns…a start

This week started off with big plans and high hopes for tackling my patterns.

For those of you who may not sew….and therefore don’t understand why my patterns are a bunch of papers:  I prefer digital PDF patterns to the old school “brown tissue paper in a package” you purchase from the store.

  1. They are more sturdy– Not easily ripping/tearing.
  2. They can be re-printed as many times as you’d like
  3. Some pattern designers even have them made in layers–so only one size can be chosen to print at a time.

The downside to them: they are little more bulky than traditional patterns, so they don’t “fold up” as small.

So, I end up with lots and LOTS of situations like this.

I’ve scoured the internet for all the ways other sewists organize their patterns, and honestly, up until this point I haven’t found anything that make sense for me.  Sure, there are multiple neat and tidy ideas, but they all seem too “put away” for my liking.

So….for now…..I’ve decided my organizational plan is going to be Manilla Folders labeled with the name of the pattern on the outside.  And put into categories by Pattern Type

  • Women’s
  • Men/Boys
  • Girls Dresses
  • Girls Tops
  • Girls Bottoms

 

I don’t have them all sorted yet but, it’s a start.

Looks like I’ll have a house full of helpers for the next few weeks….so perhaps the sewing studio will get more love from the kids too!

 

Sewing Studio · Shop Talk

Studio Spotlight: First steps of Organization

IMMA try my best to make this a weekly check-in to let you behind the scenes into my sewing studio…  it’s purpose is two-fold, really.

  1. I LOVE to see the behind the scenes of people’s creative spaces!  SO, I’m “giving back” by letting you into mine.  We can learn so much from each other as far as organization (of which I NEED a ton of help) and inspiration!
  2. This will keep my studio space moving forward.  I often only take time to create, and then my studio turns into a terrible mess.  I want to hold myself accountable by sharing my process/progress with you!

 

First things first….I HAVE to tackle all the clutter….but, as I said it. is. very. messy.  So, in order to stop myself from getting overwhelmed and giving up, I am giving myself time to go through and do it right.

This shelf was my first eye sore that I posted on IG for all the world to see.  You can’t even imagine the disaster that lies behind me in this shot.  (I’ll get to that….eventually)

God Bless the Dollar Tree and their plastic bins!

I also tackled my scrap cotton, fleece, and flannel fabric that was EVERYWHERE!  Here are the bins that had to go……

img_4160

I was able to get rid of about 60% of this by donating to local schools, our church, and friends…next stop, individual teachers that need arts & craft supplies!

 

And while I love all this new order in my life…..I have to tell you, Organization & Purging is NOT my strength.  So, I was pretty proud of myself.  I thought I desired a reward (or three 😉 )

My two chairs got face lifts thanks to Amazon!  (Bonus: now that I have an example of what I need to cover them….when I get sick of these covers, I can sew some of my own!)

Office Chair Cover you can find here 

And, hold on to your 70’s loving heart…cuz I covered this bad boy up too with a s;ipcover like this one

Now, probably the simplest thing….but something that has seriously changed my sewing LIFE: this ruler tape  I put it right in front of me on my sewing table.  MIND BLOWN!  Do you know how many times I have to get up to measure something????  Me either.  I lose track, and this little tape has brought me more joy in the last 3 days that I can even describe.

And, that’s it for this week!  I’d love to hear your organizational tips! I could use all the encouragement I can get!